Getting Started

Marketing Director Abydee Butler hits the ground running.

Abydee ButlerFor some recent college graduates, the transition from student to a full-time gig in the working world isn’t always easy. Fortunately for me, when I graduated from Clemson University in May 2009, I had a lifetime’s worth of experience in my field and the help and support of an entire company to help ease the transition. Now, more than four months into my full-time career at Butler Gas Products Company (Pittsburgh, PA), I’ve been able to hit the ground running.

Like many GAWDA members who have grown up around a family business, the company has always been a big part of my life. From the early years when I spent most of my time making copies and doing things of that nature to my high school and college years when I spent my summers working in the marketing and sales departments, I’ve always known that Butler Gas is a solid fit.

In September of this year, I made it official and joined the family business as marketing director. The first three months of my career were spent in a diverse and intense training program that Heather Ferrand, Butler’s executive vice president of sales, developed. The program exposed me to all parts of the business. I spent a few days out in the trucks with our distribution team; I did some plant shadowing; I spent time at each of our branch locations; and I went through all of the standard safety and hazmat training. Having someone like Heather to help me learn about all the parts of the business has been invaluable to my growth thus far.

Now that my training period has ended, I’ve jumped right in to my day-to-day responsibilities. I spend a good portion of my time overseeing the company’s marketing efforts. I handle most of Butler’s graphic design as well as the bulk of its advertising and public relations duties—everything from writing press releases to strategizing ways to improve the company’s online footprint. I’m not strictly in the office, though. I also spend two days a week in the field in a sales capacity working with current accounts and scouting out prospects.

My ability to transition so effectively to a full-time role speaks volumes about the entire Butler Gas Family. Without their help and support none of this would have been possible. Here, everyone’s an expert in his or her particular aspect of the business, and everyone is more than willing to lend a hand. Whether it’s answering a question or offering advice, everyone is eager to help. Without their support, the transition would have been much tougher. That support is a great motivator for me. If I do my job well, it benefits everyone in the company and especially our customers. That’s exactly what I plan on doing.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Abydee Butler Meet the Author
Abydee Butler is marketing director at Butler Gas Products Company, located in Pittsburgh, PA, and on the web at